Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Midwesterner vs. the Beach

I think we all like to think we’re beach types.  Beach types are fun, they know how to relax, how to party, they’re athletic, they’re good swimmers, they have achieved some level of life guard certification.  In short if we’re beach types...we're practically as cool as Baywatch.  
 I'm trying to join the party, act like I love getting sand in my hair and eyes and swimsuit, act like I love lounging around even though I'm roasting....but a person can only keep up the charade for so long.  I’ve been to the beach twice while being out here in lovely California, and both times the event has been underwhelming.
The first time, Katie and I, for some odd reason, decided to go on a Sunday, and leave at noon, aka: THE TIME WHERE EVERYONE GOES.  We spent twenty minutes driving to the beach and another thirty trying to park.  We were meeting up with some of Katie’s intern friends who were “somewhere near a blue tent waiting for us” after another 20 minutes of slogging down the beach, poking around the dozens of blue tents, I was feeling rather cross.  
We set up our blankets and I discovered I had forgotten a book.  Blast!  What’s the point of going to the beach if you don’t have anything to read?!?!  So I lied down, got really warm, got really sandy, waded into the water, felt really cold....repeat process.
Then Katie and I realized we had forgotten to pack any food.  Blast!  What’s the point of going to the beach if you don’t bring a picnic?!?!?!  The expert beachgoers were so smart...they had their coolers and their fruit and their huge pag of Cheetos.  We, inexperienced beachers hiked up to the pier and after waiting through a crowded, serpentine line, we paid $7 a piece for a hotdog.  

The pier hides its overpriced-ness in its beauty.  

We walked past an anti-war demonstration with coffins in the sand to represent the amount of troops who had died that week backed by rows and rows of representative Crosses, Stars of Davids, and Crescents for the troops who had died overall....I'm not really sure how I felt about it.  (Writer fail)

The Santa Monica beach was packed with people.  Not oddly, the majority of the people are Latino.  Oddly, a large majority of the people swimming are all wearing regular day clothes.  Just like when you see people running in just kinda wanna go up to them and ask:  
1.) Is that comfortable?
2.) Are you planning on wearing that the rest of the day?
3.) Don’t you just feel gross?
However, the counterargument is that these people own neither bathing suits nor work out clothes, so I should really be applauding them for unyielding effort rather than thinking them strange.  You be the judge!   
The second beach Katie and I tried along with our new friend Molly, was a beach in Newport.  It was a part of a fun day trip to see my family in Newport Beach.  Molly, who lives with a 65-year-old-hoarder named Shirley, and Katie who lives in the co-op described in an earlier post, and I, who had killed a silverfish in my bed the other night, were all a little wary of our living situations, and were really desperate to be in someone’s home for a while.  Well, my Aunt’s was perfect.  We slept in my cousin’s Monty’s bedroom, Molly and Katie in the twin beds, I on a leaking mattress, and woke up to my Aunt having made breakfast!  Due to the lack of cooking in my family, the only time I ever wake up to a “made” breakfast is when I am at sleepovers.  So the french toast and bacon was really a wonderful start to the day.  My cousin Danny drove us to this tiny island, I think it was called Balboa.  And I was glad I wasn’t driving because I was so bewitched by the small-town store feel and all of the charming houses, nestled next to one another that I probably would have hit something...and I already backed into a parked car of a guy who works at my office this that would have been less than ideal.

My face whilst talking to the insurance company earlier in the week:  

Danny escorted the three of us to the beach and then went to join some friends seeing the Dark Knight Rises (something Molly, Katie and I had already done.)  Molly, Katie and I spread out under the overcast sky assuming that it would clear didn’t.  But it was still very warm, and Molly still got very burned, so still a beach success.
The water was unpredictable.  The three of us were nearly asleep on our towels when we heard the whole crowd around us scream.  We opened our eyes to find that the water had washed nearly 20 feet further up the shore than it had been when we arrive and our stuff was in serious danger of getting soaked.  We moved some more feet up the shore to avoid such a problem.  I had brought a book this time, but didn’t feel like pulling it out and getting sandy, so I occupied my time by finding fingernail shaped sea shells and arranging them to look like hands.  
------Possible business idea....sell fake nails designed to look like sea them to people who buy natural chocolate cookies with herbal vanilla bean cream in supermarket instead of Oreos.--------Consider it Copywritten, ya’ll.  
Anyway!!!  My favorite part of beaches are the kids.  They’re hilarious.  The really young toddlers scream in surprise every time the water washes toward them, as though they thought the previous wave was sure to be the last.  The kids at the first beach who were chasing each other around being gorillas.  The ones trying to build sandcastles using a tiny plastic shovel.  The little kids who haven’t decided if walking really is the most efficient way to travel, so they mix it up with sporadic jumps and leaps and dance steps.    The kid who was so proud of his turtle towel that he paraded it around to us.  The ones who stare at you with huge eyes out of their strollers and you just wish you knew what this all looked like to them.
The best part about kids on the beach is that none of them are mine! I can grin at them and think they’re adorable, and unlike the daycamp I worked at the last two years, I don’t have to do anything about them! 
After the beach - we only lasted an hour and a half - we took Danny’s suggestion and went to a place called GreatMex which, true to it’s name...had Great Mexican food.  (Yes, I eat that, disbelieving family and friends).  Then we wandered around looking at the beautiful summer beachfront homes.  
That was a treat for a girl who bought herself a text-book sized “HomeBook” when Borders was going out of business and let myself read it to reward homework efficiency..... 

These houses are absurd.  They all have gorgeously planted patios decorated with couches, grills and tables.  But beyond that, they have almost no common thread.  One house was brown with glass as a full wall joining at a point like the prow of a ship.  One house was a deep jade green surrounded by roses, another was white with bright blue tops like it had been transported from Greece.  Well...I can’t really describe all of them, because we passed dozens, but if you have time Googleimage/earth that stuff...I would. 

The only house I didn’t like was a long brown one with dozens of variously sized bears perched in every window grinning out at us.  A sign said “WARNING! BEAR COLLECTOR!  COLLECTION GONE AWRY!”  The sign was supposed to be a joke, but I took the message seriously.  
Afterward, we took another piece of Danny’s advice and stopped at BJ’s for a Pizookie...which, for NU people, is a sophisticated version of Hot Cookie Bar. 

I thought we should each order our own.... until we saw that the menu listed each one was about 1000 calories.  After seeing that, this happened:

                                                   (ad lib)
                                     OH MY GOD!  WHY? WHY WOULD THEY LIST THAT?                     
                                     DISGUSTING. THAT HAS TO BE LIKE A DETERRING FACTOR?  
                                     WHAT KIND OF MARKETING PLAN IS THIS?
So we ordered a trio instead, mini versions of their classic, red velvet and cookies and cream Pizookies.  A few tables away though, 4 people celebrating their friend’s first Pizookie ever ordered the party size...which is supposed to be feed 18 people and is $24....they polished that thing off.  Shudder.  
We went back to the Millers and to cope with the sad loss of Katie’s new phone, we used the pool and hot tub.  Then we were treated to a delicious meal of grilling and wonderful conversation with the Millers and their family friends, and were very sad we had to leave. 
Katie and I will have to go back, though, mainly because I left clothes there...typical.

So we'll see how frequently I plan to visit the beaches again.  Definitely when Michael gets here.  So let's hope the third time is the charm.

The End.

The making of this blog:
1.) I decided last minute to add sunset picture because I realized, what kind of blog about a beach didn't have a sunset picture at the end?

2.) I considered writing about The Dark Knight Rises, but I figured ya'll would be blogged out.  I might start  second blog reviewing movies and stuff...not that my opinion really matters, and I'm certainly not an expert, but I find myself thinking about them all the time.

3.) I just recently learned how to take screenshots!  How useful are they!  AmIright?
4.)  I really really really really really love pools.  

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